Archive for the ‘Austenalia’ Category

Review of The Jane Austen Project, by Kathleen A. Flynn

Saturday, May 8th, 2021

The Jane Austen Project

by Kathleen A. Flynn
performed by Saskia Maarleveld

HarperAudio, 2017. 11 hours on 9 CDs.
Review written May 3, 2021, from a library audiobook.
Starred Review

Here’s another book featuring time travel to Jane Austen’s time. My time listening to this audiobook in the car happened to overlap with listening to the eaudiobook Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. But this one meticulously explained how the purposeful and planned time travel happened – much more satisfying to the science fiction reader in me.

You see, in the future, after the “die-off,” time travel has been developed. Rachel Katzman, a doctor who has done work with disaster relief and happens to love Jane Austen novels, applied and was accepted to the Jane Austen Project, an undertaking of the Royal Institute for Special Topics in Physics.

Her mission, together with Liam Finuca, an Austen scholar, is to go back in time to 1815, not long before Jane Austen’s death. They are posing as a brother and sister, Dr. William Ravenswood and his sister Mary. They arrive in 1815 with counterfeit money strapped to their bodies. They plan to ingratiate their way into the society of Jane’s brother Henry, and from there make the acquaintance of Jane. And they want to be good enough acquaintances to somehow get a copy of the complete version of The Watsons as well as find the missing letters, before those letters get burned by Jane’s sister Cassandra, and maybe diagnose the disease that killed Jane.

Can they do all this? They’ve got a letter of introduction from an Austen relative in Jamaica, so it would be difficult to check. But can they win Henry over, and then Jane? It helps when Henry gets sick and Liam becomes an attentive doctor friend checking on him. Henry doesn’t know that it’s “Mary” who’s the real doctor, telling her “brother” what questions to ask.

There begin to be signs that they’ve disturbed the “probability field,” so they have worries about what they’re changing by all their actions in their own past.

This book was delightful. I loved the way they had to know all about Jane Austen’s life and about customs of the time, so that gets conveyed to the reader (unlike the poor clueless heroine in Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict). The book pulls you in and helps the reader see all the difficulties one would face if you tried to be accepted into the society of 1815 without detection.

This book is like Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict in that part of the difficulty – and some of the humor – is a woman with more modern attitudes regarding sex trying to fit in during that time, when attitudes are very different. Fair warning to Jane Austen fans: This book has more sex scenes and sexual situations than Jane Austen’s books do.

I’m not completely satisfied with the ending, when it’s revealed, that yes, their time travel changed some things. (I think it’s not a spoiler if I don’t say what was changed, parts of which made me happy.) But then, I always have trouble with time travel paradoxes. I did appreciate that they attempted to explain the repercussions.

And the book is so much fun! You forget it’s fiction and feel like you’ve been immersed in Jane Austen’s time and Jane Austen’s society. A real treat for Jane Austen fans.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, by Laurie Viera Rigler

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

by Laurie Viera Rigler
read by Orlagh Cassidy

Penguin Audio, 2007. 7 hours.
Review written April 25, 2021, from a library eaudiobook

I’m on a roll of reading Jane Austen take-offs, and this is one of the silliest, or I should probably say most light-hearted.

Courtney, a modern young woman who lives in Los Angeles, recently caught her fiancé cheating on her. As part of her healing process, she did her usual Jane Austen binge. But one morning she wakes up to find herself in the home of a young lady who lives in the English countryside during Jane Austen’s time, in the body of that young lady.

The young lady is named Jane Mansfield, and she has recently had a terrible fall from a horse. When Courtney tries to tell people that she is not, actually, Jane, they try to help by bleeding her (with dirty equipment!) and threaten to put her in an asylum. She has to go along with it. Surely it’s temporary, and she can just humor them, but it seems awfully realistic and she doesn’t want to live it out in an asylum.

The book never does adequately explain why this body-switching happened. There’s talk about the fluidity of time and a wish and trauma and… well, whatever it was, it’s fun that it happened. (I also wasn’t completely satisfied about what her “destiny” was that would take her back, but I won’t give that away.) For a fantasy fan like me, that aspect was awfully murky.

This book is also a lot more raunchy than most Jane Austen take-offs. Courtney had been sexually active with her fiancé and other people before him, and she appraises the men she meets with that in mind – which does not really fit with Jane Austen’s England. But now Jane’s mother very much wants her to marry Mr. Edgeworth – and Courtney can’t remember why Jane was opposed to that plan. But she gets flashes of Jane’s memories, and she’s afraid that even in a different body, she’s attracted to an unsuitable man.

Along the way, there’s lots of humor as Courtney’s modern sensibilities clash with life in Jane Austen’s England. And though some things appall her – such as having to use a chamber pot – she begins to make the best of the situation – and the reader (or listener) gets to enjoy it with her.

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Review of Longbourn, by Jo Baker

Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Longbourn

by Jo Baker
read by Emma Fielding

Random House Audio, 2013. 13.5 hours.
Review written April 9, 2021, from a library eaudiobook
Starred Review

A big thank you to my coworker Pam who told me about this book after I posted my new Austenalia page. Longbourn focuses on the home of Elizabeth Bennet during the events of Pride and Prejudice and tells us about the lives of the servants.

This isn’t the same flavor at all as Jane Austen’s books, dealing with ladies and gentlemen and polite society and appearances and sweetly and innocently finding husbands. Details are a little more sordid, and there are some unpleasant scenes and situations. The book begins on a wash day, and Sarah, a housemaid, has these thoughts about her employers:

The young ladies might behave like they were smooth and sealed as alabaster statues underneath their clothes, but then they would drop their soiled shifts on the bedchamber floor, to be whisked away and cleansed, and would thus reveal themselves to be the frail, leaking, forked bodily creatures that they really were. Perhaps that was why they spoke instructions at her from behind an embroidery hoop or over the top of a book: she had scrubbed away their sweat, their stains, their monthly blood; she knew they weren’t as rarefied as angels, and so they just couldn’t look her in the eye.

Longbourn is a small household, with the butler married to the housekeeper. Sarah is the older of the two housemaids, and she’s only a teen herself. At the start of the book, a stranger comes into town, and he quickly becomes their new footman. There are some questions as to why a young man would be available during a time of war.

Something fun about this book is that yes, the events of Pride and Prejudice play out among the young ladies, but those things aren’t nearly as interesting to the servants as what is going on in their own lives. The author has given them intriguing back stories.

So don’t think of this as a Jane Austen read-alike. It’s not. But it is a fascinating and absorbing account of what life was like for ordinary people in England during the Napoleonic Wars. It’s about making do and surviving, but also about finding love and finding opportunities. What would a servant dream of making of themselves during that era?

I will add that in revealing the back stories of the servants, Jo Baker gives us some surprising back stories of the main characters. Bingley’s family made their fortune in sugar, and there are some implications about one of his servants – but that’s only the beginning of the back story revelations.

I wasn’t too sure I’d enjoy it as the book began, since I’m used to thinking of only the pleasant side of Austen heroines. But the more I listened, the more caught up I was in the lives and situations of these people who began to feel like they knew a lot more about how the world really works than the fine ladies I was used to reading about.

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aaknopf.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library eaudiobook from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of The Jane Austen Society, by Natalie Jenner

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

The Jane Austen Society

by Natalie Jenner
read by Richard Armitage

Macmillan Audio, 2020. 12 hours, 34 minutes.
Review written March 11, 2021, from a library eaudiobook
Starred Review

Oh, The Jane Austen Society is delightful in every way! I had recently discovered I can listen to eaudiobooks while pulling holds at the library and was finding myself making more lists of books to pull to get more time to listen to this book. I was surprised to learn the author is a debut novelists, and disappointed that I can’t immediately read more of her books.

The Jane Austen Society is set shortly after World War II, focusing on a disparate group of people from Chawton, the final home of Jane Austen. Tourists already came to Chawton looking for signs of Jane, but there was no place focusing their interest. The Knight family that owned the estate has no direct heir, so the things that Jane once lived among were in danger of getting lost. A group of people living in the village discover that they all love Jane Austen, and decide to do something about preserving her legacy.

A lot of the charm of the novel is discovering how the different people all develop their love for Jane Austen’s novels and are surprised to learn this love is shared. Yes, there are romances among the characters, and yes, some of them echo the situations from Jane Austen’s novels.

There are also problems with the inheritance of the estate, and personal problems as so many in the village are grieving losses from the war. There’s even a movie star who loves Jane Austen and has some money to bring to the project. Her fiancé is interested in pleasing her by helping to back the project, though it’s questionable how much his heart is in it.

A lot of the story is told from the perspective of the local widowed doctor, who knows everyone in the village and sees to everyone’s medical needs. Which also means he feels personally responsible when there are people he can’t save, especially when that included his own wife. Then there’s the farmer who does odd jobs for everyone in the village, and the maid on the estate who had to leave school early but is fascinated by the books in the family library, which once Jane Austen might have read.

In all, the author does a magnificent job of showing us a village of people in complicated relationships with one another – rather like Jane Austen herself would do.

And it’s all narrated with the marvelous deep voice of Richard Armitage, distinguishing between the characters enough to help us follow the large cast as they interact. (I am never very fond of how British folks do American accents, but all the lovely British accents made up for it.)

A special treat for me, a hardcore Jane Austen fan, was the many discussions among the characters of fine points in Jane Austen’s books, discussions of favorite characters, of blind spots in the characters, and this or that subtle point made. The delight of eavesdropping on these conversations added to my enjoyment of the book. And, yes, I knew all the references. Other hardcore Jane fans will enjoy that part, too, though it’s not a requirement to love the book.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Dangerous Alliance, by Jennieke Cohen

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021

Dangerous Alliance

An Austentacious Romance

by Jennieke Cohen

HarperTeen, 2019. 429 pages.
Review written September 25, 2020, from a library book
Starred Review
2020 Sonderbooks Stand-out:
#8 General Teen Fiction

Here’s another fun variant on Jane Austen! This one is a romance for teens set in England during the time that Jane Austen had published the first four of her books, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, and Emma.

Our heroine, Lady Vicky Aston, has read and loved Jane Austen’s novels and relates her own life to the events in those books. But there’s a dark side in Vicky’s life that we don’t really see in Jane Austen. Vicky’s sister Althea has fled from her husband, Lord Dain, because he is horribly abusive. The same day that she comes back to the family home, Vicky is attacked in the countryside and fortunately rescued by Lord Halworth, a young man she grew up with but who lived for years on the continent and didn’t answer her letters.

Vicky’s father is determined to get Vicky a divorce, but it’s going to be difficult. At the same time, they need to get Parliament to make Vicky his heir instead of Althea, because if Althea is the heir, the estate would be under Lord Dain’s control. However, Vicky can’t be the heir unless she gets married. So her parents give Vicky a mission: to find a husband during her season in London.

Meanwhile, there are some more attacks. There are misunderstandings. There are accidents that don’t seem like accidents. There are odious suitors and a couple of very nice suitors. But who can Vicky trust? And who is behind those attacks?

It’s all in good fun – while at the same time showing us glimpses of the dark side of the Georgian era and how little agency women actually had.

Another delightful excursion for Jane Austen fans.

jenniekecohen.com
epicreads.com

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Pride, by Ibi Zoboi

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Pride

by Ibi Zoboi

Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins), 2018. 289 pages.
Starred Review
Review written October 15, 2018, from a library book
2018 Sonderbooks Stand-out:
#4 General Teen Fiction

This is a Pride and Prejudice “Remix,” set in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. I have lost count of how many Pride and Prejudice tributes I have read (Actually, that’s not quite true, since you can find links to all the ones I’ve reviewed on the page when I post this.) – and honestly, I’ve loved them all. This is no exception.

Zuri Benitez and her four sisters watch as a new family moves into the house across the street. It used to be run-down, but they’ve been renovating it for a year, and now it’s a mini-mansion. Ainsley and Darius Darcy are fine – but who are they to come strutting into the neighborhood thinking they’ll help it out? You guessed it – older sister Janae and Ainsley hit it off right away, but there are fireworks first between Zuri and Darius.

I got to thinking about Pride and Prejudice. It might seem obvious, because it’s right there in the title, but isn’t it all about respect? When someone smart, good-looking, and yes, rich, moves into town – who is he to think he’s better than the rest of us? The Elizabeth Bennets of the world – highly intelligent themselves and with a loving, close-knit family – deserve respect, too.

But maybe they’re a bit quick to believe they’re not getting it from the Mr. Darcys of the world.

The Pride and Prejudice story is universal because it’s about earning respect – and discovering that good-looking, rich man who has the world’s respect might actually be kind and sensitive and doing good things that go beyond the externals – he might actually deserve Elizabeth Bennet’s respect, too.

It’s also about culture clash. The guy who has made it in the predominant culture moving in near the metaphorical peasantry – and needing to learn to appreciate that their lives, too, have rich community around them.

Pride tells that universal story in a new setting, with a great big helping of delight. Zuri is an Elizabeth Bennet with attitude. She’s a poet, and I’m guessing she’s going to make it into Howard. Here’s a window into her process of discovering that Darius Darcy is more than externals, too.

ibizoboi.net
epicreads.com

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Review of Emma, by Alexander McCall Smith

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

emma_largeEmma

A Modern Retelling

by Alexander McCall Smith

Pantheon Books, New York, 2015. 361 pages.

Oh Emma, Emma – I was reminded by reading this book that she’s really an annoying character.

But I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, and I’ve been eagerly following the new modernized Jane Austen retellings as they’ve come out, and on top of that I love Alexander McCall Smith’s writings, so of course I wanted to read this one.

But I almost stopped reading in the middle. Emma’s snobbishness and superiority was a little more tolerable in the original, somehow embedded in the English class system. For a modern young woman to assume she has the right to manipulate people because she can? Not so endearing.

It was somewhat endearing to occasionally notice Emma sounding like the ladies from the No. 1 Detective Agency or philosophizing like Isabella Dalhousie, but the characters put into the modern day weren’t as likable to me.

Also interesting was that the modern author took more time with the backstory than Jane Austen did, and spent about half the book before the classic novel even got started. Then some of the crucial scenes in the classic were skimmed over rather lightly.

I have to say, though, that I did enjoy a small twist at the end, as the tables get turned a bit on Emma. It’s also a much nicer ending for her father than the original.

I don’t think of my problems with the novel as Alexander McCall Smith’s fault. Emma really is an annoying character, an interfering, manipulative busybody who thinks herself better than everybody else. Somehow I bought her view when it was dressed up in a historic period in England’s history. Weren’t the gentry actually better than everyone else? But modern day Emma I wanted to slap.

Still, I did like the way this Emma thought over her shortcomings at the end. I felt like she gave them more weight and took things more to heart than classic Emma did.

But most of the retellings have made me want to revisit Jane Austen’s classics. This one made me realize that next time I see a reworking of Emma, I’ll be much happier giving it a miss.

alexandermccallsmith.com
theaustenproject.com
pantheonbooks.com

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Northanger Abbey, by Val McDermid

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

northanger_abbey_mcdermid_largeNorthanger Abbey

by Val McDermid

Grove Press, New York, 2014. 343 pages.

Another modern Jane Austen update! Very fun! Val McDermid takes the exact story of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and writes it as Jane herself might have written it if she were alive today.

Now, with Sense and Sensibility, Joanna Trollope took an Austen novel I wasn’t terribly fond of and translated to modern times, which had it make a lot more sense. In this case, Northanger Abbey is one of my favorite Austens (or at least in the top half, after Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion), but in translating it, it actually seems a bit less believable to me.

The original Northanger Abbey made fun of gothic novels. Catherine Morland imagined Northanger Abbey as the setting for one, and fantasized a sinister mystery in the family’s history. In the modern version, Cat Morland imagines that vampire novels are real. To me, it was a much bigger stretch that Cat would believe in vampires than that she’d believe a gothic novel was real. I don’t care how much a girl likes to read paranormal romances. I don’t think anyone would start believing they are real, no matter how mysterious the family.

Other than that, it was again a good translation of all the situations to modern times. Though I have to face that I’m not crazy about the plot of Northanger Abbey other than the fun it has with gothic novels. The story of her supposed friendship with Isabelle Thorpe is a bit more painful. And while Val McDermid did give the final problem with the General a modern twist, she left in the foreshadowing of the problem from the original novel, which ended up falling rather flat.

Still, Austen fans will enjoy reading the update. It’s a bit amazing how neatly the situations fit in modern life. And bottom line, we’ve got a light-hearted romance and the story of a young adult going out in the world for the first time and making new friends – some better than others.

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groveatlantic.com

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Sonderling Sunday – Stolz und Vorurteil, Kapitel Drei

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books, or, in this case, of an English classic, Pride and Prejudice.

Last time I looked at Stolz und Vorurteil, we covered Chapter Two, so this time we are on Kapitel Drei. This begins on page 8 in my English edition, Seite 12 auf Deutsch.

“assistance of her five daughters” = Unterstützung ihrer fünf Töchter

“satisfactory description” = befriedigende Beschreibung

“barefaced questions” = unverblümten Fragen (“unveiled questions”)

“ingenious suppositions” = raffinierten Spekulationen (“refined speculations”)

“distant surmises” = unbestimmten Vermutungen (“vague conjectures”)

“wonderfully handsome” = erstaunlich gutaussehend

“extremely agreeable” = außerordentlich sympathisch

“easy, unaffected manners” = ungezwungenes, natürliches Wesen (“informal, natural ways”)

“with an air of decided fashion” = mit einem Auftreten von unzweifelhafter Lebensart
(“with an occurrence of undoubtful life-art”)

“noble mien” = vornehme Haltung

“a fine figure of a man” = einen stattlichen Mann (“a stately man”)

“admiration” = Bewunderung

“his manners gave a disgust” = sein Benehmen einen Abscheu hervorrief

“which turned the tide of his popularity” = der das Blatt seiner Beliebtheit wendete
(“which the page of his belovedness turned”)

“forbidding, disagreeable countenance” = abstoßendes, übellauniges Gesicht
(“repulsive, ill-tempered face”)

“unreserved” = freimütig (“free-speaking”)

“scarcity of gentlemen” = Mangel an Herren

“standing about by yourself in this stupid manner”
= so stumpfsinnig allein herumstehen
(“so stupidly alone around-stand”)

“fastidious” = anspruchsvoll (“demanding-full”)

“tolerable” = passabel

“wasting” = verschwendest

“lively, playful disposition” = lebhaftes, spielerisches Naturell

“anything ridiculous” = allen Absurden

“which had raised such splendid expectations”
= das so glänzende Erwartungen geweckt hatte
(“that so shiny expectations waked had”)

“sprained his ankle” = einen Knöchel verstaucht

“any description of finery” = jegliche Beschreibung von Putz

“shocking rudeness” = empörenden Unverschämtheit (“outrageous insolence”)

“so high and so conceited” = so überheblich und eingebildet

And that’s the end of Chapter 3.

There were lots of fun, descriptive words in this section. The next time you see einen stattlichen Mann, who is erstaunlich gutaussehend and außerordentlich sympathisch, for whom you have much Bewunderung, you’ll know how to give a befriedigende Beschreibung!

Sonderling Sunday – Pride and Prejudice

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday, that time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books — or, um, not. Today I’m going to tackle that classic masterpiece of romance novel, Pride and Prejudice, Stolz und Vorurteil.

(Is that German cover awful, or what?)

The title is pretty much a straight translation. Urteil means “judgment,” so Vorurteil is “fore-judgment,” which is pretty much “prejudice.”

But let’s rush to that classic and immortal first sentence. I’ll try quoting it from memory:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife.”

No, I got a word wrong. It should be “in possession of a good fortune.”

Okay, how is that immortal thought expressed in German?

Es ist eine allgemein anerkannte Wahrheit, da? ein alleinstehender Mann, der ein beträchtliches Vermögen besitzt, einer Frau bedarf.

Translated literally back, that says, “It is a generally recognized truth, that an alone-standing man, who a considerable fortune possesses,” [I personally think of besitzt as “sits on,” but that’s not really the translation.] “…a wife demands.”

My thinking of besitzt is reinforced in this translation from the next paragraph:
“this truth is so well-fixed in the minds of the surrounding families”
= diese Wahrheit sitzt so fest in den Köpfen der Familien in der Nachbarschaft
(my translation back: “this truth sits so fast in the heads of the families in the neighborhood”)

“is let at last” = endlich verpachtet worden ist

“invitation enough” = Aufforderung genug
(This isn’t the word I’ve seen on invitations. It seems to be more of a summons.)

“chaise and four” = vierspännigen Kalesche

“before Michaelmas” = vor Michaeli

“how can you be so tiresome!” = wie kannst du nur so schwer von Begriff sein!
(I seem fascinated by insults and exclamations like this. My translation of that is “how can you be only so difficult about the concept!” When I put together nur so schwer von Begriff in Google translate, I get back “just so slow on the uptake.”)

“no occasion” = keine Veranlassung

“you flatter me” = du schmeichelst mir

“no new comers” = keine Neuankömmlinge

Here German is more concise:
“much to recommend them” = viel Empfehlenswertes (“much recommend-worthy”)

“silly and ignorant” = töricht und unwissend (There I go again.)

A little less subtlety here in German:
“but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters”
= aber Lizzy besitzt etwas mehr Intelligenz als ihre Schwestern
(I know Germans say it like it is. But I’m a lot happier with a father saying a daughter has more “quickness” than her sisters than him saying she has more Intelligenz.)

“You delight in vexing me.” = Es macht dir Vergnügen, mich zu quälen.

“consideration” = Hochachtung (“high attention”)

This sentence deserves being written in full:
“Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three and twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character.”
= Mr. Bennet bestand aus einer so seltsamen Mischung aus gelegentlicher Heftigkeit, Schlagfertigkeit, sarkastischem Humor, Zurückhaltung und Kaprice, da? die Erfahrungen von dreiundzwanzig Ehejahren für seine Gattin nichte ausgereicht hatten, sein Wesen zu begreifen

Looking at the details of that, there’s a surprise right away:

“quick parts” = gelegentlicher Heftigkeit (Okay, I’m not sure what’s being lost here, because Google translates that as “occasional violence”! This is in a description of Mr. Bennet!)

Then the German has Schlagfertigkeit, which translates as “quick-witted,” so maybe that’s the “quick parts”? Maybe there’s something about occasional violence in the original British version?!?

I do like “reserve” = Zurückhaltung (“back-holding”)

“to . . . understand his character” = sein Wesen zu begreifen (“his ways to comprehend”)

Jane Austen is harsh about Mrs. Bennet:
“mean understanding” = geringer Einsicht (“inferior insight”)

“little information” = wenig Kenntnissen

“uncertain temper” = launenhafter Gemütsart (“capricious disposition” or, breaking it down further, “whimsical mind-type”)

Let’s finish with the last sentence of Chapter One:
“The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.”
= Ihre Lebensaufgabe war es, die Töchter zu verheiraten — ihre Freude, Besuche zu machen und Neuigkeiten zu erfahren.

It’s fun to read Pride and Prejudice in German, because I almost don’t have to look up the English, I know it so well. Es ist eine allgemein anerkannte Wahrheit that I will have to try to use some of these phrases in daily conversation. (Well, in my own head, anyway.)

Next week, I’ll be back to Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, which I hope you’ll find viel Empfehlenswertes.